Is Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer Connected To The Matthew McConaughey Movie?

Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer TV series bears the same name as a 2011 movie. Do you need to watch the movie before you watch the TV series?

Warning: Contains spoilers for The Lincoln Lawyer season 1.

Netflix has launched The Lincoln Lawyer season 1 in full, but is the Netflix series connected to the 2011 The Lincoln Lawyer movie? The Lincoln Lawyer TV series stars Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Angus Sampson, and Becki Newton. The 2011 The Lincoln Lawyer movie was fronted by Matthew McConaughey with Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, and Ryan Phillippe.

The Lincoln Lawyer movie from 2011 follows the defense attorney Mickey Haller (McConaughey) as he works on criminal cases in LA County while operating out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car (a vehicle that gives Haller his nickname). Haller is hired to represent Louis Roulet (Phillippe) a wealthy real estate agent accused of assaulting a sex worker. Things get more complicated as Haller learns of a connection to a past case where a case led to an innocent man, Jesus Menendez, being sent to jail on a life sentence.

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Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer TV series is not directly connected to the 2011 movie as it is neither a sequel nor a remake. Rather, it is simply an adaptation of the same series of novels: The Lincoln Lawyer series by Michael Connelly. The McConaughey film of The Lincoln Lawyer is based on the 2005 novel of the same name in which Michael Connelly first introduced attorney Michael “Mickey” Haller Jr. Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer series primarily draws on the novel’s sequel, The Brass Verdictoriginally published in 2007.



The Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller Dinner Hayley

Putting distance between the two adaptations of The Lincoln Lawyerthe Netflix series not only primarily adapts the second book, it acts as though the events of the first book never happened, removing the risk of it being read as a sequel to the Matthew McConaughey’s movie of The Lincoln Lawyer. At the end of the 2005 novel, Mickey Haller is shot, and by the start of The Brass Verdict he has gone through recovery and has been absent from practicing law for over a year after he became addicted to pain killers. The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix replaces Haller’s injury with a surfing injury, explaining his absence and addiction without the need for the original The Lincoln Lawyer plot to be rehashed.


The Netflix adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer makes some changes to update the novel for 2022 and shifts to focus on Mickey Haller’s Latino heritage which takes a back seat in the novel. However, it also integrates a lot of cases, plots, and character details from The Lincoln Lawyer and blends them with The Brass Verdict, including the story of Jesus Menendez. So ultimately, The Lincoln Lawyer movie and the Netflix adaptations both use Michael Connelly’s work as a starting point, but they are not directly connected and viewers can watch one without the other.

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The Lincoln Lawyer season 1 is now available on Netflix.

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